Decoding Daniel - an in depth Bible study of the book of Daniel

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Daniel 3

Outline and Background

The Creation - Daniel 3:1

The Ceremony and the Command - Daniel 3:2-7

The Conspiracy and the Coercion - Daniel 3:8-15

The Courage - Daniel 3:16-18

The Coolness - Daniel 3:19-27

The Confession - Daniel 3:28

The Canon and the Commission - Daniel 3:29-30

Application and Typical Prophecies

The Conspiracy and the Coercion - Daniel 3:8-15

Satan loomed behind the scenes; he is always ready to point his finger and accuse God’s people. Offstage lurked those ready to make their grand entrance in order to perform the Devil’s evil plans and purposes. Jealousy and envy are often his tools. Green with envy, the Chaldeans waited for this opportunity and they pounced on it. Years before, the prayers of Daniel and his friends had saved the Chaldeans. Now they came forward, denouncing the Jews. Such was the ingratitude of the Chaldeans!

The Chaldeans brought three charges against the three Jews who did not bow:

  1.  They have not regarded you.
  2.  They serve not your gods.
  3.  They do not worship the golden image you have set up.

All others bowed; the fact that three did not was very conspicuous. (It can be assumed that any other Hebrews present bowed). Three stood alone! What a testimony by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! Their courageous act is one of the great examples in Scripture: they trusted and obeyed God rather than man. They did not cave in to peer-pressure. Talk about boldness. Moses’ instruction to Israel might have been echoing in their minds.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

What a contrast these Jews are to the apostle Peter, when he denied Christ Jesus three times in the dark. Moreover, Peter was not required to be there (John 18:15-18, 25-27)!

The Chaldeans were swift to point out that the king had set Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego over the affairs of Babylon. This charge was added to infuriate the king. They were successful; they “pushed his button.”

THE COERCION (3:13-15)

 Furious with rage—the king was intensely angry at being defied and embarrassed in this way. He may have put forth a great effort to keep such rebellion from occurring. The king, older and wiser than when he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon, summoned the three men, questioned them and offered them another opportunity to bow or burn.

Unwittingly, Nebuchadnezzar put God to the test. There is little difference between this test on the plain of Dura, and the test of Elijah and his God versus the false prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:16-40). Defiant words spilled out of the king’s mouth, “Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

Bible Studies by Bob Conway

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Book of James

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The Holy Spirit

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Life of the Apostle Paul

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